parenting your parents

Women’s Health Interactive Forums

  • If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

parenting your parents

Collapse
X
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
Clear All
new posts

  • parenting your parents

    See my previous post titled "child becomes the parent"

    Things have come to a head, in my opinion.

    I recently spent a couple days alone with Dad. He hasn't bathed in maybe months. I got him to a hotel, but couldn't convince him to bathe and he wouldn't let me help. I feared he'd fall, and I am not strong enough to lift him or prevent him from falling, so I didn't force him. The sores and dirt caked on his skin, the smell, his appearance is just more than I can stand.
    He's living in a building with no proper plumbing or facilities, sleeping on some sort of outdoor lounge chair with no support. There is heat in the building, but it's still cool. No freezing risk tho.

    The dementia has taken hold firmly, possibly compounded by the depression. I don't know and he refuses to see anyone about his health.

    I've decided that I have 2 choices. I can forcefully remove him from the situation and make some sort of arrangements. Or I can accept that this was his choice, and remove the guilt I feel.

    I don't know that I can accept this. I want to do what I'll wish I'd done when he's gone. He says he's happy where he is.

    I'm asking for us all to meet and discuss this, my siblings and I. I want this to be a group decision.

    What could you do? I want to be respectful and dignify his life with honoring his choice. But how do you honor choices made in this condition? He's sick...he needs help, imo.

    I'm kind of a mess since spending the time with him. I keep seeing his face and his dull eyes and I have to do something.

  • Sorry to hear this, Kitty. If you decide to have him institutionalized, you will have to get conservatorship first. For that it is best to have family support. Best wishes on your decision.
    I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
    ...
    Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

    From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

    Comment


    • Gosh, that's a tough one kitty. My instant reaction was that since you know he is suffering from dementia, you know he is not of sound mind and may not even be mentally capable of taking care of his basic needs, that you need to get legal guardianship/power of attorney over him. As the dementia worsens, so will his situation. Getting him into a situation where you know he will be well cared for is the right thing for him, imo. He will be mad at you. But his inability to reason is also part of dementia.

      If he was of sound mind and was choosing to live like this, I'd say more power to him. But as someone with dementia experience, I know that they revert to a child-like state at times and they truly become incapable of determining their own needs. Think about a child...........how many of them would bathe and brush their teeth without being made to by their parents? It sounds like that is the state he is in.

      So sorry you're dealing with this. I hope you and your siblings come to a common agreement. I know it will be hard, no matter what is decided. Just remember what you said about wanting to do what you'll wish you'd done once he's gone.
      "Be what you're looking for."

      Comment


      • My sister spends more time with him than anyone. I asked her directly if it's time to make a decision on moving him somewhere for adequate care.

        She won't give me a direct answer.

        My sister and I aren't close and we rarely spoke until this. I am glad she is dedicated to spending some time with dad and takes him food, etc. But I also know how she hates confrontation and her own standard of care. She had a lice infestation and wouldn't treat it. Said it was natural.
        So our standard is different. She says I'm just too citified, and country folk don't have to be so fancy.

        So...This may turn into an argument before we leave the gate. We all want what's best for him but our ideas may be very different for achieving that.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by atskitty2 View Post
          He's living in a building with no proper plumbing or facilities
          kitty, I am starting to wonder if this is even legal
          if it's not, you could call the city to report and they'd probably take him out to a hospital?

          then a social worker might get involved and he'd get help?

          Comment


          • He owns the building.
            I considered that, tho. But I'm told that they can't force him to go, and that's what would have to happen, as he won't go willingly. Even suffering from dementia, they can't force homeless people to get help.

            My sister doesn't support my plans. She's the one having to do the most, so I hate to make it harder on her too. I don't necessarily respect her opinions on the matter, but, I'm almost 3 hrs away, so I don't want to make it harder on his main caregiver either. That isn't the goal.

            So...I'm not sure what to do

            Comment


            • Originally posted by atskitty2 View Post
              He owns the building.
              How are the bills for heat, water and taxes paid. Does anyone rent part of the building?
              I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
              ...
              Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

              From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

              Comment


              • I did confirm that Mom has been paying the bills so there's no danger of the heat being cut off, until she decides she no longer wishes to show mercy. In all Mom's cruelty she had some reason to keep paying that bill.
                Nobody else is in the building, and I think the neighboring businesses must realise he's living in there. They have to notice.

                Comment


                • I would put him in a home, if he were my father. He needs help, obviously. Even though he won't help himself, the right people will. It is for his own good, so don't feel you'll be the bad guy: you won't. You have to be the responsible one and put him in a home. That is what I'd do.

                  Comment


                  • Well, I kept my thoughts to myself for too long. I lost my cool with my parents.
                    On Christmas.

                    Mom is no longer speaking to me. She wouldn't even acknowledge me on Christmas. I approached her and she literally turned her back on me.

                    Dad, I got into a physical confrontation with him, attempting to get him into a bath. He was belligerent and nasty. I unleashed verbally and it was ugly. I'm not proud of it, and feel guilty but he did eventually give in and agree to bathe.

                    Now I am struggling with flashbacks. I think I've traumatised myself. I keep seeing his dull, sunken eyes looking at me and I just can't take it.

                    My brother and sister in law were there for it all, and supported me but I'm having a hard time with what I did. My SIL said she thinks it had to be done this way. She said I'm probably the only one who could do it.
                    I don't know if that's a good thing.

                    I realise that they are both not well and not thinking clearly but, I'm a mess. I didn't want to have such drama, when they are so old and they need help.

                    And to be clear, the physical part with my dad was restraint. He tried to leave the house and walk 10 miles back to his store. He can barely walk 20 feet without stumbling.
                    Stubbornness and dementia.

                    After he cleaned up and got suitable shoes on his feet, he seemed so much better. He recited poetry that I'd not heard him do in years. He walked better. He looked brighter.
                    I know in another month we will have to do it all again...

                    Comment


                    • Hugs. Doing the right thing is not always easy.
                      I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
                      ...
                      Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

                      From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

                      Comment


                      • that's so tough, kitty!
                        were you able to have any discussion with your siblings at all?

                        Comment


                        • I've been kind of ignoring this thread because I didn't want to think about the dark days ahead. We have 6 parents left. I'm my mother’s and stepfather's only. I'm my father's most responsible and my wife is the one for her parents. They're all in their 60’s, some of them late 60’s.

                          Now my stepfather has been diagnosed with cancer, amongst other serious health issues. Even though we're close, they have a tendency to keep things from me and minimize serious stuff. I've had to ignore their commands not to come to the hospital too many times when they obviously need my support. They've said they'll include me after that has become more clear, but I'm just finding out about a cancer diagnosis after they've known for probably a week and a half.

                          I get frustrated because I want him to make better dietary choices, but something like denial or surrender keeps him from doing things we think should be done. I want to be his son, brother, and friend, not a nag. But I'm also going to be helping with care if and when it gets to that point.
                          "Those sowing seed with tears
                          Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Stillness View Post
                            I didn't want to think about the dark days ahead.
                            Now my stepfather has been diagnosed with cancer, amongst other serious health issues.
                            so sorry, still!



                            Comment


                            • Still, I don't think that there's any way to navigate the mirky waters. I really don't. Such a fragile balance between allowing them to maintain their Independence, their right to make choices, self respect, dignity... I have no answers. There's no dignity or respect in how he's treating himself, but it's his choice. I believe that he's incapable of making proper choices now tho'.
                              I feel strongly that we should be putting dad somewhere, but my siblings disagree. How do I go against them?

                              Now, in these frigid temps, his furnace quit working. I'm told that he refuses to leave.

                              No idea how to approach Mom to try to right this relationship. Historically, Mom holds grudges and once she's upset, there's no forgiveness or mercy given. She's shut off many family members over the years. I can apologize for how I spoke to her, but not for what I said. I think I will have to accept that I am no longer a concern of hers.

                              Still, can you approach the parents and get their wishes now? Before it's advanced too far?

                              Comment

                              Unconfigured Ad Widget

                              Collapse

                              Womens Health orange logoGet The Newsletter

                              Receive our passionately crafted, medically reviewed articles and insights — the stuff nobody else talks about but you want to know — delivered right to your inbox.

                              Latest Posts in Our Forums

                              Collapse

                              Latest Topics in Our Forums

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X